International Contemporary Ensemble | Museum of Contemporary Art | Classical | Chicago Reader

International Contemporary Ensemble Recommended Member Picks All Ages Soundboard

When: Sat., May 26, 7:30 p.m. 2012

For the final concert of its third season in residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art, International Contemporary Ensemble is playing the music of three expat composers living and working in Paris. The heart of the program is the music of Greek native Georges Aperghis, a onetime student of Iannis Xenakis; he's long been iconoclastic and multidisciplinary, composing for theater, opera, and the orchestra, with a particular interest in the voice. He wrote Signaux (1978) for "a quartet of instruments of the same timbre and range," and the only performance of it I've heard, from the 2009 CD Crosswinds (Kairos), employs a saxophone quartet that recorded it three times at three different tempos, then superimposed them to wonderfully disorienting effect—it's full of warped, wobbly harmonies and melody lines that unfold in almost psychedelic cascades. As Aperghis says in the liner notes, "What I wanted was to create a kind of polyphony with always the same ascending scales. The quartets begin to create a kind of grid or woven texture. In the end the rising scales are so mixed together that one can no longer hear the scales but rather a kind of melody arising from the accidental overlapping." Tonight Signaux will be performed on pairs of violins and violas. Aphergis also wrote a new work called Shot in the Dark for ICE, which uses a frequent Aperghis device—soprano Tony Arnold will tell a story in a mostly made-up language against the full orchestra. (Arnold will also perform Aphergis's 1978 solo piece Recitations, which braids together French and nonsense, in a free concert at Corbett vs. Dempsey on May 25 at 6:30 PM.) Also on the program are new chamber works by two composers participating in the ICElab program, Patricia Alessandrini of the U.S. and Juan Pablo Carreño of Colombia. Guest conductor Ludovic Morlot will direct ICE. —Peter Margasak

Price: $22-$28

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